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Quantifying channel development and sediment transfer following chute cutoff in a wandering gravel-bed river

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andy Large


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Three-dimensional morphological adjustment in a chute cutoff (breach) alluvial channel is quantified using Digital Elevation Model (DEM) analysis for a ca. 0.7 km reach of the River Coquet, Northumberland, UK. Following cutoff in January 1999, channel and bar topography was surveyed using a Total Station on five occasions between February 1999 and December 2000. Analysis of planform change coupled with DEM differencing elucidates channel and barform development following cutoff, and enables quantification of sediment transfers associated with morphological adjustment within the reach. This exercise indicates an initial phase of bed scour, followed by a period characterised by extensive bank erosion and lateral channel migration where erosion (including bed scour) totalled some 15,000 m3 of sediment. The channel in the post-cutoff, disequilibrium state is highly sensitive to relatively low-magnitude floods, and provision of accommodation space by bank erosion encouraged extensive lateral bar development. Bar development was further facilitated by infilling of channels abandoned by repeated within-reach avulsion and large-scale aggradation of sediment lobes deposited by higher magnitude floods. Calculations indicate that at least 6600 m3 of sediment was deposited on emerging bars within the reach over the survey period, and >2300 m3 deposited within the channel. Sediment losses from the reach may have exceeded 6500 m3. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fuller I, Large ARG, Milan D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geomorphology

Year: 2003

Volume: 54

Issue: 3-4

Pages: 307-323

Print publication date: 05/09/2003

ISSN (print): 0169-555X

ISSN (electronic): 1872-695X


DOI: 10.1016/S0169-555X(02)00374-4


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